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Ducks Fall To Oilers 5-3
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks came out of the All-Star break hosting the red hot Edmonton Oilers. Max Jones returned to the lineup, but Mason McTavish (upper-body injury) did not play. John Gibson was in net against Calvin Pickard.
The Ducks started the game strong out shooting the Oilers 10 to 4 at one point and they killed off an early penalty against Jackson LaCombe. With about three minutes to go in the opening frame, Connor McDavid was called for interference. The Ducks converted on the power play as Cam Fowler‘s point shot beat Pickard. Anaheim held a 1-0 advantage after the first period.
The Oilers tied up the game nearly halfway through the second period. Evander Kane scored in close from the right side of the net. Gibson was without his stick on the play as Corey Perry slashed it out of his hands just before Kane scored. There was no penalty called on the play.
The Ducks answered about 30 seconds later with a goal by Ryan Strome. Leo Carlsson found Strome alone in front and he danced around Pickard firing the puck between his leg pad and the post for the score.
The Oilers then responded about three minutes later with another goal by Kane. He got the puck in the slot and beat Gibson low to tie the game once again. The remained 2-2 to start the third period.
Lukas Dostal came in at the beginning of the third period. John Gibson was out with a lower-body injury. The Ducks got a power play early in the period and Strome scored his second to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Frank Vatrano found Strome in the left face-off circle and he beat Pickard with a wrist shot.
Things were looking good for Anaheim, but then Edmonton scored two goals in about 90 seconds. McDavid found Zach Hyman in the slot for a tip in goal and then Leon Draisaitl scored on a power play. Suddenly the Ducks were losing 4-3.
The Ducks pulled Dostal in the final minutes, but Kane scored his third of the game in the empty net and the Oilers won 5-3.
Anaheim had a solid start to this game outshooting Edmonton 13 to 9 and grabbing a 1-0 lead. In the second period, the Oilers controlled the play with 12 shots on goal to just 2 for the Ducks. The Ducks played better in the third, but back-to-back goals in just under 90 seconds did them in.
The Ducks did an outstanding job of keeping McDavid and Draisaitl at bay for the first two periods. In the third, however, McDavid assisted on all three Edmonton goals and one was scored by Draisaitl. Anaheim did win the special teams battle scoring twice on the power play to just once for Edmonton.
The Ducks played well enough to win or at least maybe earn a point, but there were a few none calls that didn’t help their cause. Perry slashed Gibson’s stick out of his hands right before the Oilers first goal, which went uncalled and drew the ire of Gibson. Late in the third period Draisaitl took down Ilya Lyubushkin, but the played continued. The Ducks could have had a power play in the final minutes to try to tie things up.
Gibson left the game after the second period. Head Coach Greg Cronin said he could have possible had a cramp, but he wasn’t sure.
Adam Henrique recorded two assists and now has points(11) in each of his last seven games(4 G + 7 A).
The Ducks head to Montreal on Tuesday for a 4 PM showdown.
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February 9th, 2023